The Studio at Explore What’s Next is a long hoped for dream made manifest.
The dream was to have a place where people, like me, who at some point or other, feel raw and vulnerable, can find a safe haven. In the center of that safe haven, there is the powerful tool of trauma-informed psychotherapy provided by qualified therapists with intelligence and compassion. Radiating from that psychotherapeutic core, are self-care practices, also provided by qualified, sensitive instructors, that nurture a person to feel safe within their bodies again, grow trust, strength, confidence inside and out.
In the adventure of self-exploration, good psychotherapy can provide a foothold on life’s slippery slope, a place to hang on to, lift up and grow. Just as powerful is the route to self-discovery taken through yoga, or whatever movement you favor, spiritual seeking and nurturing.
The Studio’s services, workshops, groups & classes are open to the public.
In other words, all of The Studio’s services, workshops, groups and classes are open to the public. You do not need to be a psychotherapy client or enrolled in a group at EWN to take a yoga class. If you are in therapy here, no one will require you to take a yoga class! It’s all by open invitation, with wide, welcoming arms.
Frequently people say to me, “This holistic approach to well-being is such a great idea! How did you come up with it?” As happy as it makes me to hear the question, the answer is a bit complicated. So, like many things these days, I start by taking a deep breath…
The Studio at Explore What’s Next & my Health Journey
Many years ago in a city far, far away, I was a healthy 20-something who suddenly wasn’t. That is, I was still 20-something but I wasn’t healthy any more. I was very sick. Knocked off the path that I thought was going to be my life, I went into an emotional, as well as physical, tailspin. I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Illness invited me rather rudely, to learn how my well-being was more than from the neck up. I learned to nurture and listen to my entire body in order to be at my best from day to day, even if my “best” simply meant taking a shower.
Ever so slowly (convalescence is a long process), with the support of a rock-steady family and my therapist, I redefined what it meant to be healthy. With a lot of time to read, I reached out to the ancient Greeks and early Buddhist writing where I found wisdom in the harmony of mind and body, joy in the ability to just breathe and calm in being centered in one’s values instead of striving to achieve someone else’s idea of what success meant. Today we call it mindfulness.
Gaining Knowledge & Skills to become a good psychologist
A few years later, in graduate school, I gained the knowledge and skills to become a good psychologist. But I knew from my experience and the stories of others, that psychotherapy doesn’t stand alone.
Good behavioral health professionals of all disciplines are taught that you don’t even start psychotherapeutic treatment, much less diagnose anyone, until you have a good idea of the person’s physical life.
“How are you sleeping?
Are you moving?
What do you eat, drink?”
These are the cardinal questions in any mental health assessment.
The Mind Body Connection
So while I already had an idea of the mind/body connection, the mechanics of how issues in our bodies affect our mental health and vice versa was made even more clear in graduate school. In addition, researchers started to catch up by applying scientific methodology to provide solid evidence of why and how yoga, meditative and other holistic self-care practices benefit our emotional and physical well-being.
So if we acknowledge that these practices are important…
what can we do to support people who need help in these areas?
I chose to get a Ph.D. because I believed a doctorate would provide me with the credentials to create new mental health programming that I envisioned would be built within a hospital setting.
The hospital-based part didn’t happen.
That’s OK because it made me recalibrate, correct for reality, and learn patience to create
The Studio at Explore What’s Next
my dream made manifest.
Elvira G. Aletta, PhD, Founder & CEO
Life gave Dr. Aletta the opportunity to know what it’s like to hurt physically and emotionally. After an episode of serious depression in her mid-twenties, Dr. Aletta was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that relapsed throughout her adulthood. While treatable, the cure was often as hard to bear as the disease. Later she was diagnosed with scleroderma, another chronic illness.
Throughout, Dr. Aletta battled with anxiety. Despite all this, Dr. Aletta wants you to know, you can learn to engage in life again on your terms.
Good therapy helped Dr. Aletta. She knows good therapy can help you. That’s why she created Explore What’s Next.
Today Dr. Aletta enjoys mentoring the EWN therapists, focusing on coaching and psychotherapy clients, writing and speaking. She is proud and confident that Explore What’s Next can provide you with therapists who will help you regain a sense of safety, control and joy.
716.634.2600 | firstname.lastname@example.org